Person shopping with shopping bags

Tax-Free Shopping: The Benefits in Japanese Shopping

Tax-free shopping is a popular practice that offers numerous benefits to both consumers and retailers. In Japan, tax-free shopping has gained significant traction in recent years, attracting a large number of international visitors eager to take advantage of the cost savings it provides. For instance, imagine a tourist visiting Tokyo who purchases multiple high-end electronic devices worth thousands of dollars. By participating in tax-free shopping, this individual can potentially save a substantial amount on their purchase by avoiding the burden of paying consumption tax.

One key benefit of tax-free shopping in Japan is the potential for considerable financial savings. Consumers who engage in tax-free shopping are exempt from paying the 10% consumption tax imposed on most goods and services within the country. This exemption allows shoppers to make significant reductions in their overall expenses, particularly when purchasing luxury items or making expensive long-term investments. As a result, individuals can allocate these saved funds towards other aspects of their trip or direct them towards future purchases.

Additionally, tax-free shopping contributes to promoting tourism and stimulating economic growth in Japan. The allure of being able to shop without having to bear the additional burden of taxes attracts an influx of international tourists each year. Not only does this boost revenue for local businesses and retailers but also leads to increased employment opportunities within the retail sector. The surge in tourism also benefits other industries such as hospitality, transportation, and entertainment, further bolstering Japan’s economy.

Furthermore, tax-free shopping enhances the overall shopping experience for tourists. Participating retailers typically offer dedicated tax-free counters or designated areas within their stores to facilitate the process. This streamlined procedure saves time for both shoppers and retailers, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Additionally, many shops provide information in multiple languages and accept various payment methods to cater to the diverse needs of international visitors.

To participate in Tax-Free Shopping in Japan, tourists need to meet certain criteria. They must be non-residents of Japan and possess a temporary visitor status (such as a tourist visa). The purchased goods should also meet specific conditions set by the Japanese government regarding quantity and price thresholds. Tourists will be required to present their passports at the point of purchase and fill out necessary paperwork to complete the tax exemption process.

In conclusion, tax-free shopping in Japan offers significant advantages for both consumers and retailers alike. It allows tourists to save money on their purchases while promoting tourism and economic growth in the country. With its streamlined procedures and attractive incentives, tax-free shopping has become an essential aspect of the Japanese retail landscape that continues to draw international visitors year after year.

Payment Options

When shopping in Japan, one of the key considerations for tourists is the various payment options available. The convenience and diversity of Payment Methods can greatly enhance the overall shopping experience. For instance, imagine being able to make a purchase simply by using your mobile phone or credit card without having to carry around cash. This level of flexibility not only makes transactions more efficient but also provides peace of mind for shoppers.

To illustrate this point further, let’s consider a case study involving a tourist visiting Tokyo. Upon entering a popular department store, they are presented with multiple payment choices at each cashier counter. These options typically include cash, credit cards (both domestic and international), as well as mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. This variety allows shoppers to select their preferred method based on personal preference or individual circumstances.

Additionally, tax-free shopping adds another layer of convenience when it comes to making payments in Japan. Tourists who meet specific criteria can enjoy exemption from consumption tax on eligible purchases. To highlight the benefits even further, here is a bullet-point list showcasing some advantages of engaging in tax-free shopping:

  • Savings: By avoiding consumption tax, tourists can save money on their purchases.
  • Simplified process: Tax refund procedures have been streamlined and made more accessible to accommodate foreign visitors.
  • Increased purchasing power: With potential savings through tax exemptions, shoppers may be able to afford additional items within their budget.
  • Incentive for tourism: Offering tax-free shopping attracts more international visitors to Japan and contributes positively to local economies.

To provide an overview of the eligibility conditions and associated rates, refer to the following table:

Eligibility Conditions Tax Exemption Rate
Non-resident foreigners 8%
Temporary visitors 10%

In summary, the availability of diverse payment options coupled with the opportunity for tax-free shopping creates an inviting environment for tourists in Japan. This ensures a hassle-free and enjoyable shopping experience where individuals can choose the most suitable payment method for their needs.

Exemption Thresholds

Having explored the various payment options available for tax-free shopping, let us now delve into the exemption thresholds set by Japanese authorities. Understanding these thresholds is essential to maximize the benefits of tax-free shopping.

Exemption Thresholds:

To illustrate the significance of exemption thresholds, consider a hypothetical scenario where Mr. Smith, a tourist visiting Japan, purchases several items during his stay. Among his purchases are designer clothing, electronics, and souvenirs. By understanding and adhering to the exemption thresholds, Mr. Smith can potentially save a substantial amount on taxes.

The exemption thresholds vary depending on the type of goods purchased and their total value. As part of its effort to boost tourism, Japan offers generous exemptions on consumption tax for eligible foreign visitors. Here are some key points regarding exemption thresholds:

  • Clothing and Accessories:

    • Exemption threshold: ¥5,000 or more per item
    • Maximum total purchase amount eligible for exemption: ¥500,000 (excluding consumables)
  • General Goods (Electronics, Cosmetics, etc.):

    • Exemption threshold: ¥10,000 or more per item
    • Maximum total purchase amount eligible for exemption: ¥500,000 (excluding consumables)
  • Consumable Items (Food and Beverages):

    • Exemption threshold: No minimum requirement
    • Maximum total purchase amount eligible for exemption: ¥5,000
  • Souvenirs:

    • Exemption threshold varies by region; refer to local regulations.

Table: Examples of Eligible Purchases with Tax-Free Benefit

Item Price Range Consumption Tax Saved
Designer Handbag ¥25,000 ¥3,125
Digital Camera ¥80,000 ¥10,000
Japanese Cosmetics ¥5,500 ¥688
Green Tea Set ¥4,200 No tax exemption

Understanding the exemption thresholds not only allows tourists to make informed purchasing decisions but also encourages them to explore a wider range of products during their visit. Whether it’s indulging in high-end fashion or savoring local delicacies, tax-free shopping offers an enticing opportunity for visitors to experience Japan’s unique culture and take home cherished souvenirs.

Transition into the subsequent section about “Procedure for Obtaining Refunds”:
To fully benefit from tax-free shopping in Japan, it is important to understand the process involved in obtaining refunds. By following the prescribed procedures diligently, shoppers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience when claiming their tax refunds.

Procedure for Obtaining Refunds

Now that we have discussed the benefits of tax-free shopping in Japan, let us delve into the specific exemption thresholds that shoppers need to be aware of. To illustrate this point, consider the following hypothetical scenario: Sarah, a tourist visiting Tokyo, purchases several items during her trip. She wants to take advantage of the tax refund system but is unsure whether she qualifies for an exemption.

To determine eligibility for a tax refund, it is essential to understand the threshold criteria set by Japanese regulations. Currently, there are two main types of exemptions based on purchase amounts: a general exemption and a special exemption. The general exemption applies when the total value of purchased goods exceeds ¥5,000 (approximately $45) but does not exceed ¥500,000 (around $4,500). On the other hand, the special exemption comes into play when the total value of purchased consumables such as food and beverages exceeds ¥5,000.

To assist you further in understanding these thresholds, here are some key points to remember:

  • General Exemption:

    • Applicable when total purchase amount exceeds ¥5,000.
    • Limited to purchases up to ¥500,000.
    • Covers various goods except for consumables exceeding ¥5,000.
  • Special Exemption:

    • Applies specifically to consumable products like food and drinks.
    • Total expenditure must surpass ¥5,000.

Understanding these exemption thresholds will help shoppers make informed decisions about their purchases while ensuring they meet all requirements necessary for obtaining a tax refund. In our next section on “Procedure for Obtaining Refunds,” we will explore how visitors can navigate through the process seamlessly without any hassle or confusion.

Qualifying Products

Once you have made your tax-free purchases in Japan, there are certain procedures that need to be followed in order to obtain the refunds. To illustrate this process, let’s consider a hypothetical scenario of an international tourist named Sarah who is visiting Tokyo and wants to claim her tax refund.

Firstly, Sarah needs to ensure that she meets all the requirements for obtaining a tax refund. As mentioned earlier, only non-residents of Japan are eligible for tax-free shopping. Additionally, the purchased goods must meet certain criteria set by the Japanese government. These include being intended for personal use or as gifts, with a minimum purchase amount of 5,000 yen per store on the same day.

Next, Sarah needs to locate the Tax-Free Counter within the store where she made her purchases. This counter is usually found near the cashier area or at designated sections specifically dedicated to tax-free shopping. At the counter, Sarah will be required to present her passport and fill out some Necessary Paperwork such as a consumption tax exemption form. It is important that she completes this step before leaving Japan as it cannot be done retrospectively.

To assist you further in understanding the benefits of tax-free shopping in Japan, here are four key advantages:

  • Savings: By purchasing items without paying consumption tax, visitors can save money on their overall expenses.
  • Convenience: The streamlined process of obtaining refunds makes it convenient for tourists who want hassle-free shopping experiences.
  • Variety: With numerous stores participating in tax-free shopping schemes across various cities in Japan, visitors have access to a wide range of products from clothing and electronics to traditional crafts and souvenirs.
  • Promotion of Tourism: Tax-free shopping initiatives attract more international travelers and boost tourism revenue while supporting local businesses.

Moreover, below is a table summarizing popular destinations known for offering attractive tax-free options:

City Shopping Districts Notable Stores
Tokyo Ginza, Shibuya Mitsukoshi, Tokyu Hands
Osaka Shinsaibashi Daimaru, Takashimaya
Kyoto Kawaramachi Isetan, Loft

In conclusion, by adhering to the necessary procedures and requirements for obtaining tax refunds in Japan, visitors like Sarah can enjoy the benefits of tax-free shopping. The savings obtained through this process contribute to a more enjoyable and economical experience while exploring everything that Japan has to offer. Next, we will delve into the necessary paperwork required to complete the tax refund process.

Moving on to the next section about “Necessary Paperwork,” it is important to understand the documentation needed when claiming your tax refund in Japan.

Necessary Paperwork

When it comes to Tax-Free Shopping in Japan, certain products are eligible for exemption. These qualifying items can vary depending on the store and the specific regulations set by the Japanese government. To understand which products qualify for tax exemptions, let’s consider an example: a tourist visiting Tokyo wants to purchase electronics without paying taxes.

In order to benefit from tax-free shopping, tourists must keep in mind the following key points:

  1. Minimum spending requirement: Most stores require a minimum spending threshold to be eligible for tax exemptions. This amount varies across different stores but is typically around 5,000 yen ($50 USD) per day.
  2. Consumption purpose: The purchased goods should not be intended for commercial purposes or resale within Japan.
  3. Departure procedure: Tourists need to present their passport at the time of purchase and complete necessary paperwork during checkout. This documentation will prove eligibility for tax refunds upon departure.
  4. Time limit: Visitors must exit Japan within 30 days of purchasing the goods to avail themselves of the tax exemptions.

To better illustrate this information, here is a table summarizing the qualifying criteria for tax-free shopping in Japan:

Qualifying Criteria Description
Minimum Spending A certain amount needs to be spent per day
Consumption Purpose Goods should not be intended for commercial use
Departure Procedure Passport presentation and completion of required paperwork
Time Limit Departing Japan within 30 days of purchase

By understanding these guidelines, tourists can make informed decisions when planning their purchases while enjoying the benefits of tax-free shopping in Japan.

Moving forward, we will explore more about the necessary paperwork involved in availing tax refunds as we delve into “Necessary Paperwork.” This section will provide insights into how visitors can navigate through the administrative procedures associated with claiming back taxes on their purchases.

[Transition to the next section about “Stores that Offer Tax-Free Shopping”] For tourists seeking stores that offer tax-free shopping, it is essential to know where they can find such opportunities.

Stores that Offer Tax-Free Shopping

Imagine you are a tourist visiting Tokyo and have been exploring the vibrant streets of Shibuya for hours. As you continue your shopping spree, you come across an electronics store that catches your eye. The thought of buying a brand-new camera at a discounted price excites you, but then you remember the hefty taxes usually imposed on such purchases. However, fear not, as many stores in Japan offer tax-free shopping to foreign visitors like yourself.

When it comes to tax-free shopping in Japan, there are several important factors to consider. First and foremost is the eligibility criteria for tax exemption. In order to qualify for tax-free shopping, tourists must meet certain requirements which typically include:

  • Residing outside of Japan
  • Staying in Japan for less than six months
  • Purchasing goods intended for personal use or as gifts
  • Presenting a valid passport upon purchase

These conditions ensure that tax exemptions are exclusively available to foreign visitors who contribute significantly to the country’s tourism industry.

Once you confirm your eligibility, it’s time to explore the wide range of stores offering tax-free shopping options. From department stores and boutiques to electronic shops and even drugstores, numerous establishments participate in this program throughout Japan. To help you get started, here are some popular retailers known for their participation in tax-free shopping:

Store Name Location
Bic Camera Multiple Locations
Don Quijote Multiple Locations
Loft Nationwide
Matsumoto Kiyoshi Nationwide

Shopping at these stores not only allows you to enjoy significant savings through tax exemption but also provides access to high-quality products from renowned brands.

By taking advantage of tax-free shopping opportunities, tourists can make substantial savings while enjoying their visit to Japan. Not only does this encourage more spending from international travelers, but it also contributes to the growth of local businesses and boosts the overall economy.

Understanding the accepted forms of payment is crucial when engaging in tax-free shopping in Japan.

Accepted Forms of Payment

When indulging in tax-free shopping in Japan, it is important to familiarize oneself with the accepted forms of payment. Being aware of these options ensures a seamless shopping experience and avoids any potential inconveniences at the checkout counter.

To illustrate this point, let us consider the case of Mr. Tanaka, a tourist from Singapore exploring Tokyo’s vibrant shopping districts. He stumbles upon an exquisite boutique offering tax-free purchases on luxury goods. Excitedly selecting his desired items, he approaches the cashier only to realize that the store does not accept credit cards. Thankfully, he had prepared by carrying sufficient cash for such situations and was able to complete his purchase without any hassle.

In order to facilitate smooth transactions during tax-free shopping, stores typically accept various forms of payment. These may include:

  • Cash: This is the most widely accepted form of payment in Japan and is often preferred by smaller shops or establishments that cater primarily to local customers.
  • Credit Cards: Many stores now accept major international credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard. It is advisable to check beforehand if your specific card will be accepted.
  • Debit Cards: While less common than credit cards, some shops do offer the option to pay with debit cards, allowing you to conveniently use funds directly from your bank account.
  • Mobile Payment Solutions: With the increasing popularity of mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay, certain stores have started accepting these methods as well. This provides added convenience for those who prefer using their smartphones for payments.

To further emphasize the importance of being aware of acceptable payment methods while engaging in tax-free shopping, consider the following table showcasing different scenarios based on available payment options:

Scenario Accepted Forms of Payment
Buying souvenirs at a traditional market Cash
Purchasing high-end fashion items Credit Cards
Shopping at a department store Cash, Credit Cards
Making a quick purchase at a convenience store Cash, Mobile Payment Solutions (e.g., Apple Pay)

Understanding the accepted forms of payment not only ensures the smooth completion of purchases but also saves time and avoids disappointment. By being prepared with the appropriate means to pay for your desired items, you can fully enjoy the tax-free shopping experience in Japan.

Moving forward into our next section about “Limits on Duty-Free Purchases,” it is essential to be aware of any restrictions that may apply when indulging in tax-free shopping.

Limits on Duty-Free Purchases

When shopping in Japan, it is important to be aware of the accepted forms of payment. Understanding these options will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free shopping experience. Most stores in Japan accept major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. However, it is always advisable to carry some cash with you as well, as there may be smaller establishments or street vendors that only accept cash.

For instance, let’s consider a scenario where a tourist named Sarah visits Tokyo and decides to explore the vibrant streets of Shibuya. As she walks around, she comes across a charming boutique selling traditional Japanese handicrafts. Excited about the prospect of purchasing souvenirs for her friends back home, Sarah enters the store only to find out that they do not accept credit cards. Luckily, Sarah had some cash on hand and was able to make her purchases without any issues.

To further illustrate the importance of being prepared with different forms of payment while shopping in Japan, here are some key points:

  • Major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in most stores.
  • Some smaller establishments and street vendors may only accept cash.
  • It is advisable to have both cash and credit cards when shopping in Japan.
Advantages Disadvantages Emotional Response
Convenient Risk of loss Frustration
Secure Limited acceptance Peace of mind
Easier tracking expenses Currency conversion fees Satisfaction
Accepted internationally Potential overspending Confidence

As seen from the table above, having multiple payment options can evoke various emotional responses depending on an individual’s preferences and circumstances. While certain advantages such as convenience and security provide peace of mind during transactions, potential disadvantages like limited acceptance or currency conversion fees might lead to frustration or dissatisfaction.

In summary, understanding the accepted forms of payment when shopping in Japan is crucial to ensure a seamless experience. While major credit cards are widely accepted, it is wise to carry some cash as well. By being prepared with different payment options, shoppers can navigate various establishments and make purchases without any inconvenience. Next, we will delve into the refund application process for tax-free shopping in Japan.

Transitioning smoothly into the subsequent section about the “Refund Application Process,” let’s explore how shoppers can reclaim their taxes on eligible purchases made in Japan.

Refund Application Process

Section H2: Limits on Duty-Free Purchases

Japanese tax-free shopping offers numerous benefits for tourists, allowing them to save money and enjoy a more affordable shopping experience. However, it is important to be aware of the limits imposed on duty-free purchases in order to make the most out of this opportunity.

To better understand these limits, let’s consider an example. Imagine that Lisa, a tourist visiting Tokyo, wants to purchase some high-end cosmetics as souvenirs. She has found a store that offers tax-free shopping and is excited about the potential savings. However, she needs to know the limitations before making her final decision.

When it comes to duty-free purchases in Japan, there are certain restrictions that shoppers should keep in mind:

  1. Purchase Amount Limit: The total amount spent on eligible goods must exceed 5,000 yen (approximately $50) but not exceed 500,000 yen (around $5,000). This limit ensures that smaller purchases do not qualify for tax exemption while preventing abuse of the system with excessively large transactions.

  2. Timeframe Limit: Tourists can only take advantage of duty-free shopping during their stay in Japan. There is typically a limit of six months from the date of entry into the country or departure from Japan to complete their tax-free purchases.

  3. Quantity Limit: Some products have quantity restrictions when purchasing duty-free. For instance, alcohol may have specific limitations on how much can be bought without paying taxes.

  4. Personal Use Only: Tax exemptions apply strictly for items intended for personal use or as gifts. Reselling purchased goods within Japan or abroad violates this condition and may result in penalties or loss of privileges.

Considering these limitations allows shoppers like Lisa to plan ahead and ensure they maximize their savings while adhering to all regulations associated with tax-free shopping in Japan.

Restrictions Explanation
Purchase Amount Limit Total spending must exceed ¥5,000 but not exceed ¥500,000
Timeframe Limit Tax exemptions are only valid for purchases made during a tourist’s stay in Japan with a maximum of six months from entry or departure.
Quantity Limit Certain products may have restrictions on the quantity that can be purchased duty-free.
Personal Use Only Goods must be intended for personal use or as gifts and cannot be resold within Japan or abroad.

Understanding these limits ensures a smooth shopping experience while making the most of tax-free benefits.

Eligible Goods and Services

Imagine you are a tourist visiting Japan and have recently made several purchases at various stores. Now, let’s delve into the refund application process for tax-free shopping in Japan. To ensure a smooth experience, it is important to understand the steps involved.

  1. Understanding the Eligibility Criteria:
    Before proceeding with your refund application, make sure that you meet certain eligibility criteria. Only non-resident foreign visitors who temporarily stay in Japan are eligible for tax-free shopping. Additionally, goods purchased must be taken out of Japan within 30 days from the date of purchase.

  2. Obtaining Necessary Documentation:
    To apply for a tax refund, you will need to obtain specific documentation from the store where you made your purchases. This typically includes a refund application form and receipts for each item bought. It is essential to keep these documents safe until you leave Japan as they will be required during the customs inspection when departing.

  3. Completing Customs Procedures:
    When leaving Japan, proceed to the designated “Tax-Free Counter” at the airport or seaport before going through immigration control. Present your purchased items along with the necessary documentation received from the store to customs officers for inspection. They may ask to examine both sealed and unsealed goods, so remember not to pack them away too early.

  4. Receiving Your Refund:
    Upon completing customs procedures successfully, return to the Tax-Free Counter where you initially submitted your documents and receive your refund accordingly. The exact method of receiving refunds can vary depending on the store and location but usually involves cash or credit card reimbursement.

By familiarizing yourself with this straightforward four-step process, navigating tax-free shopping becomes an easy task during your visit to Japan.

Eligible Goods and Services:

Now that we understand how to navigate through the refund application process smoothly, let’s explore what types of goods and services qualify for tax exemption in Japan:

Category Examples
Clothing Apparel, footwear, accessories
Cosmetics Skincare products, makeup
Electronics Cameras, smartphones, laptops
Souvenirs and Gifts Traditional crafts, local specialties

With a wide range of eligible goods and services available for tax-free shopping, tourists can enjoy significant savings while indulging in the unique shopping experiences Japan has to offer.

Required Documentation for Refunds:

Moving forward into the next section about the required documentation for refunds at Japanese stores, it is important to understand what paperwork you will need to provide. By following a few simple steps and having the necessary documents prepared beforehand, your tax refund process can be efficient and hassle-free.

Required Documentation for Refunds

Eligible goods and services play a crucial role in determining the availability of tax refunds for international shoppers in Japan. By understanding which items qualify, visitors can make informed decisions about their purchases and maximize the benefits of tax-free shopping. Let’s explore some key aspects related to eligible goods and services.

To better understand this concept, let’s consider an example: Imagine a tourist visiting Tokyo with the intention of buying luxury fashion items from renowned Japanese designers. As they enter a high-end boutique, they are greeted by a salesperson who explains that these fashion products are indeed eligible for tax refund purposes. This knowledge empowers the visitor to confidently proceed with their shopping experience while enjoying potential savings through tax exemptions.

When it comes to identifying eligible goods and services during your shopping expedition, here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • The majority of general consumer goods fall under the category of eligible items.
  • Certain restrictions may apply to specific categories such as food, beverages, tobacco products, medicine, and cosmetics.
  • Services like hotel accommodations or restaurant meals might also qualify for tax exemption if certain criteria are met.
  • While most purchases made at participating retailers will be eligible, it is essential to inquire beforehand or look for signage indicating tax-free shopping options.

By familiarizing yourself with these guidelines regarding eligible goods and services, you can ensure a seamless tax-free shopping experience that aligns with your preferences and expectations.

Now let’s delve into the required documentation for refunds – an integral aspect that ensures smooth processing of tax reimbursements for international shoppers in Japan.

Participating Retailers

After familiarizing yourself with the required documentation for refunds, it is important to understand which retailers participate in tax-free shopping in Japan. By choosing specific stores that offer this service, you can make the most of your shopping experience and enjoy the benefits it brings.

Participating Retailers

When planning your shopping trip in Japan, consider visiting renowned department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Isetan, or Takashimaya. These establishments have a wide range of products available and are known for their excellent customer service. Additionally, many electronics retailers like Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera also provide tax-free shopping options for tourists.

To further enhance your understanding of participating retailers, here is an example of three popular Japanese cosmetic brands that offer tax-free shopping:

  1. Shiseido
  2. Kanebo Cosmetics
  3. Kao Corporation

These companies not only produce high-quality beauty products but also cater to international customers by offering tax exemptions on purchases made within designated limits.

By opting for tax-free shopping at these reputable retailers, visitors can save money while enjoying the vast selection of goods available in Japan. To illustrate the potential savings involved, consider the following table showcasing sample prices before and after applying tax exemption:

Product Price (with Tax) Price (Tax-Free)
Perfume ¥12,000 ¥9,600
Handbag ¥50,000 ¥40,000
Watch ¥80,000 ¥64,000
Electronics ¥150,000 ¥120,000

As evident from these examples, embracing tax-free shopping allows travelers to acquire desired items at more affordable rates without compromising quality or variety.

In summary, taking advantage of participating retailers in Japan’s tax-free shopping program can significantly enhance your retail experience. By selecting renowned department stores and popular brands that offer tax exemptions, visitors have the opportunity to save money while enjoying an extensive range of products. Furthermore, through the use of a table showcasing sample prices before and after applying tax exemption, it becomes clear how this initiative benefits shoppers financially. So next time you plan your shopping spree in Japan, make sure to explore the numerous opportunities for tax-free purchases available to international tourists.

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